This species was rediscovered in the Khasi Hills of Northern India, by a team of botanists in 2016, after a 74-year absence.
Its last refuge is within one of the regions scared forests which are traditionally protected by local people. They act as a lifeline for several threatened tree species.
Only one mature individual of this species survives. Erosion of traditional values has resulted in many sacred forests becoming degraded. Forest fires, cutting of trees for firewood and construction of roads are rapidly contributing to the destruction of its habitat and the loss of the last remaining individuals.
The species produces the sought after fragrant resin known as agarwood. If developed sustainably, the species could be of great economic value for making perfumes and medicine.
A key component of this project will be to establish a conservation consortium, bringing together community-based indigenous organisations who are responsible for the management of the species’ habitat, and conservation researchers who hold the technical expertise to save the species.
Through this collaboration, community-friendly methods to counter threats will be developed and awareness of the ecological and economic importance of conserving the species will be raised through a number of activities.
A propagation and reintroduction programme will also be implemented through the consortium